Elderly California Man Could Face Life in Prison for Fatal DUI Near Casino

Posted on: September 3, 2021, 12:26h. 

Last updated on: September 3, 2021, 03:57h.

An 86-year-old man is facing between 23 years and life in prison after he was convicted Wednesday of murder and other charges. The case stems from a 2019 pedestrian death outside of Palm Springs, Calif.’s Agua Caliente Casino.

The defendant is facing between 23 years to life in prison
Palm Springs, Calif.’s Agua Caliente Casino, pictured above. A fatal collision outside of the casino has led to the conviction of the driver on several charges. (Image: Agua Caliente Casino)

Leroy Silva of Palm Springs was found guilty by jurors of killing one woman in the July 2019 deadly collision, City News Service, a local news agency, reported. A second woman was also injured.

The jury also found Silva guilty of DUI causing bodily injury, DUI causing bodily injury with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.8 percent, sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury, as well as two counts of hit-and-run resulting in death or injury. He drove away from the casino after the collision, police said.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dale Wells will likely sentence Silva on Oct. 8. He is currently being held without bail at the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio.

The victim, Connie Clark, 67, of Lemon Grove, Calif, suffered extensive injuries which later led to her death. The second woman was the same age as Clark.

Both women were crossing the street when Silva drove into them, police said. Silva was arrested a short time after the incident about a mile from the casino. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians owns the Agua Caliente Casino.

Suspected Robbers Fail in Earlier Attempts

The same suspects allegedly attempted two other holdups at casinos earlier that same night, police said.

One of the attempted holdups was at the same Palm Springs casino. That attempt failed. The men then went to Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, where they again attempted a robbery. After both attempts failed, they returned to the first Palm Springs casino.

The identities of the suspects were not released by local police at the time of their apprehensions. It was not immediately known what happened with court cases against them.

Palm Springs Prior Violent Crime

Last October, Palm Springs police officers shot two robbery suspects at the same casino as they tried to speed away from a parking garage. They had allegedly just robbed a woman in the garage at gunpoint. One had a firearm.

The duo approached the victim as she was standing by her car. They snuck up behind her, covered her mouth, and placed a gun up to the side of her body, police. They then allegedly grabbed her purse and tried to speed away in their white Honda Accord.

Three police officers were able to block the bandits’ attempted escape path, as their car traveled on a ramp from the second level of the garage to the first. In the confrontation between officers and the suspects, each was shot while inside the car. The firearm later was seized by police.

Injuries to the suspects did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. No police officers were injured, the department added.